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The openSUSE distribution is a stable, easy to use and complete multi-purpose distribution.
It is aimed towards users and developers working on the desktop or server. It is great for beginners, experienced users and hardcore linux enthusaists alike, in short, it is perfect for everybody! The latest release, openSUSE 42.1, features new and massively improved versions of all useful server and desktop applications. It comes with more than 1,000 open source applications.
openSUSE is also the base for SUSE's award-winning SUSE Linux Enterprise products.
Why use openSUSE?
- It uses the best .rpm based package manager
- It is sponsored by actual professionals from SUSE
- It has a very professional and easy-to-use installer with btrfs by default
- Packages are fairly recent but the system is very stable.
- It is geared towards both newcomers and advanced users
- It features the YaST which is the best Linux setup-tool known to man, covering everything DE settings dont cover, with an appealing GTK+, Qt or ncurses UI
- Has 2 equally supported default desktops: GNOME and KDE. openSUSE is known to deliver the best KDE experience, and the second-best GNOME experience with their customized Desktop Environments.
The Tumbleweed project provides a rolling release version of openSUSE containing the latest stable versions of all software instead of relying on rigid periodic release cycles. The project does this for users that want the newest, but stable software. Tumbleweed is based on Factory, openSUSE's main development codebase. Tumbleweed is updated once Factory's bleeding edge software has been integrated, stabilized and tested. As of November 4th 2014 the Tumbleweed rolling release and Factory rolling release merged, leaving the single openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling release we have today. More information
The Factory project is the rolling development codebase for both openSUSE Tumbleweed and the next stable openSUSE release. There is a constant flow of packages going into Factory. There is no freeze; therefore, the Factory repository is not guaranteed to be fully stable. When automated testing is completed and the repo is in a consistent state, the repo is synced to the download mirrors and published as openSUSE Tumbleweed. That usually happens once or twice a week.
It is recommended not to run Factory, use Tumbleweed instead. More information
Packman is a huge repository, that mostly contains codecs and other multimedia-related applications. You can enable it from the GUI using YaST, or from the terminal using Zypper:
zypper ar -f packman-essentials http://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_13.1/Essentials/ packman-essentials
zypper ar -f packman-multimedia http://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_13.1/Multimedia/ packman-multimedia
zypper ar -f packman-essentials http://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_13.2/Essentials/ packman-essentials
zypper ar -f packman-multimedia http://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_13.2/Multimedia/ packman-multimedia
OpenSUSE provides a repository to use if you want to install the latest stable KDE (Plasma desktop and the application suite).